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William Schambra, The Friendship Club and the Well-Springs of Civil Society. October 1999




Schambra, a senior program officer at the Bradley Foundation, is concerned about creating the conditions for people to practice the art of self governance in small face to face communities. Taking as his model the Friendship Club, a small self governing community of drug users and street people in Milwaukee, Schambra shows how real people can cultivate new attitudes and virtues without making themselves into the "grateful clients of credentialed experts." This level of civil society, he notes, can be murky and disorganized - but the existence of an institution that is theirs is worth much more to people at the bottom than the benevolent ministrations of the bureaucratic social agencies delivering services and benefits. The full edited text of this lecture may be viewed or purchased in pamphlet form at http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/publications.html



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